TOP PLAY (WPA): Coming into the game, Chase Anderson hadn’t allowed a singled run. That, unfortunately for the right-hander and the Brewers, changed pretty rapidly. In the second inning, Anderson threw a pitch right down the middle to Miguel Sano. Sano crushed it on a line for a home run, the first run of the game, and the first run Anderson gave up all year.
That, however, wasn’t the biggest play of the game. That happened in the fourth inning when the Brewers were down 4-3 and Anderson was still pitching. The inning started off with the game tied, but Anderson once again gave up a leadoff home run to Byung-ho Park. After Eduardo Escobar struck out looking, Kurt Suzuki came up to the plate and singled off a ground ball, bringing up heralded former number one overall prospect Byron Buxton. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Anderson threw Buxton a changeup which caught too much of the plate. Buxton lined it to left field for a triple, extending the lead to five to three, putting a man on third with one out.
WORST PLAY (WPA): Byung-ho Park was acquired in the offseason from Korea by the Minnesota Twins. Counting this game, he’s been a relatively productive player, striking a ton but also hitting for a lot of power. The good was put on display today, as he hit another mammoth home run, but we also saw the bad.
In the second inning, the game was tied 1-1. The inning got off to a rocky start for Anderson, as he gave up a long home run to Sano. Then, Oswaldo Arcia lined a single to put a man on first with nobody out. The aforementioned Park then came to the plate and grounded into a double play, killing the rally.
TREND TO WATCH: In the first game of the season, Scooter Gennett hit a monster home run against Madison Bumgarner. It was particularly not worthy because Gennett’s home run was clocked at 108.5 MPH. In 2015, Gennett didn’t hit a ball that hard all year. Especially considering that Gennett hasn’t hit lefties well throughout his career.
The idea wasn’t necessarily that Gennett is going to become a superstar but rather that Gennett may have made adjustments in his game. He, therefore, might be an improved hitter as compared to last year and other years, which may have brought up his good spring training.
Gennett had another good game going two for three with a pair of doubles. We’re also now twelve games into the season and he’s still performing quite well. What’s even more interesting is that he does seem like a different hitter.
For most his career Gennett’s been an impatient hitter. His walk rates have typically been abysmal, and his strikeout rates were always around average. So far, this season, Gennett’s got a walk rate of 19.1 percent. His previous career high was 4.6 percent in 2014. This would be a huge improvement in his game if he can keep this up. Gennett is swinging a lot less compared to last year. He is swinging less at pitches inside the strike zone but his biggest improvement thus far has been with swinging at pitches outside the strike zone. For his career, Gennett has swung at pitches outside the strike zone at a 41.3 percent clip. This year he’s only swinging at 25.2 percent of pitches inside the strike zone.
Many people didn’t think of Gennett as a key part of this rebuild, but if he can keep up this new approach and keep having success with it, he might just be one of the cornerstones.
You probably knew where I was going with this. The Brewers lost 7-4 but the game ended early due to a rain delay. It’s unlikely that the Brew Crew would have come back, but the rain ensured that they wouldn’t, giving the Twins a four-game winning streak after losing their first nine games of the season.
COMING UP NEXT:
The Brewers will be in action tomorrow for an afternoon game. Wily Peralta will be on the mound and looking to turn his fortunes around. Ervin Santana will be on the mound for the Twins who has gotten off to a decent start with a 3.00 ERA.